communication

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better!

I was 17, walking from the girls bathroom to my Geology class during passing period.  I had an extra spring in my step that day – I looked so cute!  I’ll never forget the grey shirt with black velvety stripes, the black pleated skirt ala Britney Spears coupled with my new patterned opaque tights and Mary Jane shoes.  I spotted a couple of girls at their lockers looking as cute as me; but my boobs were bigger and my waist smaller and I thought to myself, “I look way better!” No sooner was I seated at my lab table then the Swedish exchange student walked over to me and said, “Kala…” he didn't have to finish his sentence.  I knew immediately that I had walked down the hallway with my skirt tucked into the back of my tights and I was completely mortified!  As a teenager I cringed at the event, as an adult I realize the lesson I was being taught.  I wasn't better.

“Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:26 (New Living Translation)

More and more employers have put an emphasis on teamwork in the workplace, leaving little room for those who do not play nice with others.  I recently transferred into and new job and replaced someone who was great.  While it’s easier to find the things that he did poorly and showcase MY strengths, the real challenge is focusing on his wins and reminding myself that I am building upon that.

My way, his way… neither is better or worse.  We lead differently plain and simple, we have a different approach to business, training and communication.  I'm certain that I will be able to take my job to another level, I am also certain that a great leader can step away to let another shine; and for that I'm grateful for this chance.

“Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (New Living Translation)

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for the talents you have given me.  Help me to recognize when I am being selfish and when I’m frustrated, show me the bigger picture so that I can move on.

Talkin' Dirty

Ooooh!  Talking dirty.  Sounds so naughty and it is!  It’s especially naughty when you’re talking dirty at the office. I’ll admit sometimes a four letter word (or two) to stress a point may seem to be an effective form of communication, but there is always an alternative to those fierce four letter words.  Not only is swearing like a sailor a poor way of showcasing God’s love, it’s also not very becoming of a lady.

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders (those not of the Christian faith), making the most of the opportunity.  Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.  Colossians 4:5-6  (New American Standard Bible)

Have you ever seen an end of year evaluation where an employer encouraged the use of profanity?  If you have let me know, I’d love to start a Linked In thread about that one. Talkin’ dirty, in most professions, is unnecessary and unprofessional.  Do your best to bring out the best in others during a conversation, not put people down or make others feel uncomfortable.

Think before you speak and whatever you do, “No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.”  Exodus 20:7  (The Message Bible)

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, please help me to control my tongue.  Thank you giving me sense to use my wit and wisdom when speaking with other.  Help me to show your love though my words and my actions.  Amen.

Say What?

  I have a friend that can sing… really sing.  I’ve occasionally caught her singing in the office and each time I stop and commend her on her beautiful voice.  Her response, “It’s all Him”, but her eyes say,  “I know right!  I’m just trying to sound humble and Christian like.”  Gotcha!  How about next time you just say thank you?

 

In business it’s important that you are able to effectively communicate with your target audience.  Whether you’re selling infant formula to hospitals, teaching sensitivity courses to executives or selling folks on the idea of faith in God, knowing and understanding your audience is key.  That being said they have to understand you as well.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.  May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.  Philippians 1:9-11  (New Living Translation)

As Christians we sometimes forget that not everyone understands our Christianeese lingo and it is important that we take to time to understand the people we are sharing God’s love with.

Here are some of my favorite Christian words and phrases made simple.  It’s okay to laugh, I guarantee you Jesus did.

I’m saved = I’m confident I’m going to heaven.

I’m born again = I believe in Jesus now.  *(Note: There is no Christian voodoo; it’s impossible to be reinserted into your Mother’s womb to literally be reborn!)

Brother/Sister = Man, Dude/Chica, Girlfriend

Sold out for God = Really psyched about God!

I don’t feel led = Seriously, no one can make me do that!

The Lord works in mysterious ways = I have no flippin’ clue how to answer you right now.

Are there any prayer concerns for the group? = Does anyone have any juicy gossip for the group?

Hopefully you’re giggling right now.  For me, laughter opens the door to share how God’s love has impacted my life in free and simple way.  What is special about your story?  What’s the best way to share it with others?  Be transparent, pray for knowledge and understanding.  When an opportunity arises be bold and strong, know that God is with you.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for coming into my life and making me whole.  Lead me to share the story of your love with others in a way meant just for them.

Own It

It was at my last New Year's Eve party that it happened. I'd spent all day cooking food and cleaning and planning so that I could have my friends over. As people started trickling in, I noticed that one of my closest friends seemed a little grumpy. So I stepped up my game and tried to make sure she had a good time. Towards the end of the night, our conversation took a quick turn into Sassy City. And in front of everyone, she snapped at me...Cue the awkward silence. I had no idea how to react. So my simple reply was, "Ok", as I angrily walked out of the room. After that, I didn't mention it for months. Even when she text me an apology right after she'd left. Big mistake.

You see, I thought that not saying anything about it and "letting it go" was the proper thing to do. I thought, "Well, I shouldn't get this mad about things." And I didn't want  to make the situation worse by bringing it up again. But, inevitably, my frustration came out in a big way months later. Not only did it come out, but it came out stronger than it should have because by that point, I'd held it in pretty long.

What I'm learning is that sometimes, it doesn't matter whether you should or shouldn't feel a certain way. What matters is that you feel it! Yes, ideally, we'd always be patient, forgiving, understanding, and all that jazz. But, we're human. And sometimes,  you just can't force yourself to feel those things. So, try to recognize when it's beneficial to speak up and own your feelings a bit more.

Now all you sassy ladies, don't go to the opposite extreme either. This does not mean you should give every emotion you feel free rein. Don't just confront people whenever and however you feel like, because that really doesn't accomplish much either.

Communication truly is an art form and it's tricky to learn. But your relationships deserve your honesty. Proverbs 24:26 says, "An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips." So the next time you feel yourself stifling your feelings of hurt or frustration, just try and address them in some way before they consume you. Because the only thing worse than an uncomfortable conversation with someone about how you feel is unresolved tension that eats away at your relationship!

Facebook and Text Messages - A New Way of Communicating

In this way aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.[Romans 14:19 TLNT]

Knowledge to Build On In the 14th chapter of Romans, Paul is addressing a group of believers about the division that is apparent among them.  He admonishes them to just be fully persuaded in their own minds what they believe, follow after peace, and build one another up. Life in the Now Facebook and text messages - - - is this the new norm for communicating?  It sometimes appears as though face to face communication has gone by the wayside, which is so vital for relationships.  Ever wonder what God thinks about all of these hi-tech ways of communicating?

Allow me to share a personal experience as food for thought.   I was receiving a face to face critique about my attitude.  This person got straight to the point by saying:  “With your attitude, you should not even be teaching Bible courses!”  Ouch!!  Admittedly, there are times I certainly have need of an attitude adjustment.  But, for this person to declare that I shouldn’t be teaching God’s Word hurt profusely!  Honestly, thoughts were running through my mind that their words would cause a division between us permanently!

As I continued to listen to their analysis as to why I shouldn’t be teaching, my cell phone beeped alerting me to a text message. I quickly opened my mail, and read:  Have a good day, TEACHER GAL!”

OMG!  LOL!  I was being called Teacher Gal right there on my keypad.  “Thaxs, God. U R high tech, too,” as I chuckled to myself with this on-time instant message.  From that moment on, the face to face encounter I was currently receiving did not matter anymore.  God had nudged someone special to send me a word of encouragement, and she had obeyed.

Think About It Has God nudged you to send an encouraging word to someone and you pushed it aside for “lack of time?”  Why not text, rather than waiting to buy a card, or writing a long letter, which are, indeed, very meaningful.  However, it’s sometimes those quick “on-time” moments that are also needed.

Prayer Lord, thank you for the people you have sent into my life to exhort and build me up.   May I, too, always be willing and ready to build up others in their time of trouble, as well as in the things you have called them to do.

More of the Truth Genesis 37:35 11 Corinthians 1:3-4

Marriage Survival During the Hustle and Bustle

 

Communication breakdown!  I can become very agitated when my plans don’t go smoothly because of a communication breakdown in my marriage. No matter how crazy things are in my life I can still keep it together if I feel my husband and are on the same page.  However, I can get real stressed if we are not jiving and working together.

 If you have been married long enough, you know having “personal” alone time, as a couple, can be a challenge with the hustle and bustle of life’s responsibilities. Good communication between a couple does, indeed, involve listening and expressing feelings to each other.   However, believe it or not, my husband and I have learned to incorporate simple communication skills that we use in business each day to eliminate stress and ensures that we are spending quality time together. This may not sound romantic or exciting, but making good use of technology, has strengthen our relationship.   

 For your marriage relationship to stay connected,  try practicing the following three tips:

  1. Send appointments

Have you had a miscommunication in your marriage when one of you forgot the other was working late; forgot about a dinner out with friends; or forgot about a soccer game for one of the kids? In today’s age, most of us are using our phones or computers as our calendar.  When one of us schedules an event that may affect the other, we simple send the other an appointment notice so that it automatically goes to the other’s calendar.  It is AMAZING how this simple step has saved us so many arguments and misunderstandings.  

  1. Schedule dates on calendar or in Smart Phones.

We have set out at the beginning of many weeks with good intentions to have lunch together. Then by Friday, we suddenly realize that so many things came up or it was simply forgotten, and we missed our lunch time together.   I have been guilty of putting “us” on the back burner when something else comes up that I think is more important. We now schedule are lunch dates just as an appointment.  There is something about having it in writing that makes us accountable to stick with it. 

  1. Turn it off

Technology is good at times, but it can be detrimental at other times.  There is no way we could have quality conversation and time with our spouse with the TV blaring in the back or trying to multi tasks on the computer or phone.  Use technology to schedule those times, but remember to have true communication and enhance your marriage, TURN IT ALL OFF. 

 So as you are sitting down looking at your fall calendar with schedules and activities, don’t forget to actually SCHEDULE and plan with your husband.  Don’t hink it will just happen. 

Proverbs 21:5 in The Message says:

“Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” 

 Don’t let the hurry and scurry of life get you behind on your relationship with your spouse.  Sit down together and figure what is the best way for you as a couple to keep it fresh with minimal stress.

 One of my favorite Bible verses is 1 Peter 5: 8.  Quoting from The Message Bible:“Keep a cool head.  Stay alert.  The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.” 

  NAPPING!  That is very convicting. When we are napping from our marriage and not giving it the attention that it needs, the enemy sees an open door to come right in.